March is Women’s History month, where we celebrate the contributions of women in current and historical events. It is celebrated during March in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, corresponding with International Women's Day on March 8.
I could spend hours writing about women in equestrian history, the contributions and accomplishments they have made to better the sport, but I wanted to keep this blog more personal and focus on the significant women that have supported and changed my equestrian life (keeping this horsey themed!)
Firstly, of course, is my mother. I didn’t grow up with horses, it was my mothers life long dream to own her very own horse. My mother grew up in Warrington and was utterly obsessed with horses from a young age. There was no catalyst for this, it was already embedded in her and she begged continuously to spend time with my great uncles horse. My great uncle was called Spider Williams.. I imagine a Jack Sparrow lookalike the way my mother describes him!
Fast forward a few years, marriage and a few babies later (my two sisters and I), my mother celebrating her 40th birthday, decided to revisit her passion, buying a 3 year old cob of her own, Shamrock. I quickly became hooked too… and the rest is history.
I will always be grateful to my mother for being brave enough to follow her childhood dreams, as not for her I would not have this passion.
The second person is Sharon Stanley, photographer, dressage rider, mother and a good friend of mine. I was learning all about dressage training and became fascinated with the fancy movements, I thank (blame) watching Sharons early morning training sessions as the reason I wanted to learn more! I admired her work ethic, balancing motherhood, the school run and her own business and quickly learnt success does not come without hard work.
Last but not least, Becky Holden, classical dressage trainer and licensed instructor of Ecole de Legerete has been the most influential figures in my equestrian journey. I always wanted a trainer that was time served and not only talks the talk, walks the walk! A trainer that truly understood history, the masters and their different ‘schools’ and practiced classical principles. I had lots of questions when I met Becky and finally they were being answered! Becky changed my riding for the better and I am still on that journey.
During March, and especially the 8th March, I will be taking the time to reflect on the important women in my life. I have many lovely friends and women who inspire me daily, including my customers who I follow on their horse riding and personal journeys on social media.
I would love to know the inspirational women in your journey, please leave your stories below in the comments!
To all my lovely readers - Happy Women’s Month!